Also known as Towerland (or “magical land”) by the locals, Juist features a 17 kilometer long stretch of sandy beach that straddles the Wadden Sea and Wild North ocean on its sides. An oasis of tranquillity this has been marked as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009. Experience a complete isolation from the pollution and monotony of city life and enjoy complete contentment in the lap of nature. And the many festivals and fairs organized by the local communities offer an interesting mix of cultures. Also there are no cars here, you’ll have to walk everywhere! The island is said to be among the first carbon-neutral tourist destinations by 2030.
Another UNESCO approved and protected island situated in Spain the Formentera Island is a treat for the senses. The blue sky, crystal clear water and yellow sandy beaches offer the perfect atmosphere for a peaceful and quite vacation for couples. And the many local Italian cuisines and list of water sports add on to its charm. One of the many islands of the small Baleric cluster in Spain, the 600 miles coast stretches all the way to mainland Italy. And though it is near to the Ibiza islands that are known for its glamour and glitz of celeb parties, Formentera is a relatively tranquil place. So explore the rich heritage and history of the place and experience the heady mix of cultures and cuisines here!
The first thing you’ll notice about the Colonsay in Scotland is its striking resemblance to the Gigha Islands. Sandwiched between other bigger and more popular islands of Islay, Jura, Mull and Treshnish Isles the Colonsay cluster is well connected to the nearby islands and cities by ferries. The surprisingly small local community that inhabit the island comprises of just 135 people. This place also has a school, one hotel, two churches, a shop, post office and an 18 hole golf course. Known for its extensive biodiversity, craggy cliffs, woodlands and remote beaches, the island also features a regal estate house by Malcom McNeil.
The Saaremaa Island literally translates to “island land”! Famous for its pine forests, sunny beaches, clear skies and lots of booze! Considered to be among the largest of Estonia’s islands, the place is roughly the size of Luxembourg and is sprinkled with deciduous woodlands, lighthouses, windmills and tiny cottages. The island was especially popular during the Soviet era and housed a rocket base space station. Free from the urban squalor and pollution the Saaremaa islands have retained their rural classic charm and customs. The place is also full of some special luxuries such as spa, sauna and swimming that account for a more comfortable stay.
Set along the Saronic Gulf, the Hydra islands are among the most prominent of Greek Islands. The place is absolutely environment friendly and features only one wheeled vehicles, there are no scooters, cars or motorbikes. Carriages and animals are a popular mode for transport. The steep narrow pathways, cobbled lanes and rocky shores give Hydra a rustic and ferocious charm. A very chic, earthy and authentic vacation spot, this paradise island has been a rage among celebs and artists from all over the globe. So don’t be surprised if you cross paths with famous actors and musicians relaxing on the sunny beaches or looking across the harbors here!
The Mljet Island set along the coast of Croatia is considered to be among the prettiest of Adriatic islands. The place offers a perfect juxtaposition of forests, fields and vineyards giving a rustic and classic charm to the place. The Mljet National Park on the western side features a wide range of flora and fauna. Also the saltwater lakes, pine forests and lush vegetation of the place only enhance its scenic appeal. Untouched and isolated, the Mljet islands are free from the rush of urban life and are still the same tranquil stretch of land that had once captivated Odysseus for seven years.
Graciosa, Canary Islands
Set in the northern tip of Lanzarote, La Graciosa is a small but significant part of the Canary Islands. And the sea water surrounding the island is the only fishing and marine reserve in all of Canary Islands! The El Rio, a strip of water separating Graciosa from Lanzarote is a major tourist attraction that is directly overhead. And though the local population of the place is roughly 500, the place is well endowed with all the modern facilities and luxuries that guarantee a comfortable stay. The island is known for its craggy beaches and woodlands and hence a favourite camping spot for hikers and adventurers.
Mykines, Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are known for their natural beauty and old school charm and the Mykines are no different. Set on the western point of the Faroe Islands, the Mykenis is a small village that is completely cut off from the main city. There are no roadways or tunnels connection the place to its neighboring villages, boats and helicopters are the only modes of transport available. A quiet and content little village, this place is a delight for bird watchers. Yes, here you can find thousands of cute puffins along the long hike up the craggy cliffs and steep mountain trails.
The Faial Island in Portugal is another tranquil and peaceful vacation spot that is away from the chaos of the city. First discovered in the 18th century, the sea port offers crucial passage to major cities along the Atlantic. A part of the Azores clusters this place is well connected to all nearby villages and cities. The 67 miles stretch of land along the shore is home to approx. 15000 inhabitants. The place is more commonly known as the Blue Island thanks to the blue painted houses and neat division of fields and cobbled lanes. Major attractions include an isthmus or islet that was formed with the lava and ash disposition of 1957. Also the surreal sunrises, sunsets and spectacular views add on to its charm.
Rich in culture and aesthetic appeal Gozo islands in Malta is a treat for the senses. But what sets it apart from its peers is the mythological connection attached to it- the Gozo islands are said to be the legendary Calypso’s Isles of Homer’s Odysseus! A peaceful and small little village set along the Mediterranean back-waters , the place offers some of the best dive sites in the world. You can also check out the many forts, churches and other historical sites here, the most famous of them being the prehistoric temple Ggantija.
Perhaps the most isolated and distinctive of island communities along the coast of Norway, the Træna islands is an absolute delight for travellers! With its high majestic mountain tops, skerries and raw natural beauty, this place is a beautiful reminiscence of the fairy tale kingdoms and magical islands featured in the Norwegian folklore. It is among the 4 four major islands along the coast that is actually habitable. With the Arctic Circle passing through the island tourists can get a surreal view of the midnight sun that is visible for six weeks starting form the end of May.
Belle-ile-en-Mer, France, France
Very true to its name the Belle-ile-en-Mer, France that roughly translates to “beautiful island” offers an ethereal and pristine view of the Morbihian Coast. Among the largest of Brittany islands, the Belle-ile-en-Mer, France is a 45 minute ferry trip away from Quiberon. A tranquil yet popular tourist spot, the 10 miles stretch of land has a rich history of over 100 years! On a clear day, you can get the best views of the nearby villages and towns of France. Also the two major ports Palasis and Sauzon offer breath taking view of the rough Atlantic ocean.
Alderney, (Guernsey) Britain
A beautiful, isolated little village along the British Isles, Alderney is protected from the hustle and bustle of the main city. Set very near to the Channel Islands, this place is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. This island is surprisingly small measuring just one and a half mile wide and three and half mile in length but is host to a number of cultural events and festivals. And the scenic appeal and simple rustic life of the locals is a pleasant change from the monotonous but rushed atmosphere of the city.
The word Stromboli roughly translates to “Spinning Top” and is set upon a volcano- the 12.22 kms of land boasts of the world’s most active volcano that is 926 meters high and 1700 meters below sea level! The small village on the foothills is completely isolated from the mainland and inhabits small population pf locals and comes with all the modern facilities of urban life. With its rustic charm and urban luxuries you get the best of both worlds here.
One of the more popular spots on the Aran Islands, Inishmore offers an ideal blend of pagan and Christian cultures. The background for Synge’s play Riders to the Sea, the Aran Islands feature rough sea and rocky coasts that bring out the true raw beauty of nature. And though it is not a commercial tourist spot, it is the perfect place if you want to experience the authentic Ireland- the locals are colourful and inherently Irish. The place is also peppered with a number of churches and Gaelic monuments.